Our feet do a lot of work for us; they’re among the most active parts of the human body. They help us to carry our weight around and to maintain our balance. Hence, anything that adversely affects them can hinder us from functioning at our best.
Yet the foot also ranks among the body parts that we are most likely to take less care of, which is, no doubt, a big mistake! Find out ways you can benefit when you give proper attention to your foot health.
The foot is a part of many parts as it consists of numerous structures. Together, the two feet have more than 50 bones and account for a quarter of all bones in the body. Add to that over 60 joints, plus hundreds of muscles, ligaments, and tendons. So, you have intricate parts where issues can crop up and affect foot health. Damage to any of the constituent parts can adversely impact your overall wellbeing and quality of life.
Humans become more susceptible to food-related issues as they age. Our feet can decline and change in shape over time.
Poor foot health is a factor in the incidence of falls among older people, according to experts. Falls can have serious consequences, including broken bones and head injuries.
Benefits of Practicing or Seeking Good Foot Care
There are numerous ways you can benefit when you take excellent care of your feet, which includes visiting an expert regularly. Let’s consider a number of benefits.
It improves circulation
It is common to hear older people having poor circulation, including in their feet. This problem is also common among people who maintain sedentary lifestyles. Failure to use your feet often may disrupt the proper flow of blood.
Certain foot treatments, such as a foot massage or warm foot bath, can aid in restoring healthy circulation. Doing this for a few minutes each day can promote effective delivery of oxygen to your feet for proper functioning.
It boosts productivity
You will be helping to promote or ensure good productivity by looking after your feet. Usually, you need to be mobile to an extent to do a variety of things, but that can be impeded if you have a problem with your feet.
For example, a pain in your foot will most likely keep you from being at your best. Let’s even assume that you spend the greater part of your typical workday at a desk; you’d still need to get up once in a while.
Great foot health helps improve your work performance. Also, it reduces the likelihood of you staying away from work due to a foot complaint.
It offers effective protection against infections
When you take your foot care seriously, you can enjoy robust protection against a variety of foot and toe infections.
The skin around the foot is highly vulnerable to infections. This is mainly a result of dampness and dirt, which are favorable for fungi, bacteria, and viruses to thrive.
Paying careful attention to your feet daily, including taking steps to prevent dampness, can keep infections at bay. If you do have an infection, a visit to the podiatrist will help deal with such.
It prevents injuries
Although it might sound surprising, good foot care may help guard against injuries. Certain treatments can be valuable for the functioning of the muscles in the foot area. They can reduce stiffness around this area, helping avert injuries that can result from a lack of flexibility.
Ankles and feet that are flexible and resilient are part of what good foot health entails.
It promotes quick recovery from injuries
Avoiding injuries might not be completely possible, especially if you use your feet more than most people do. Athletes and people who work out regularly are known to often experience foot and ankle issues more. Some injuries may occur suddenly and you may not even be able to explain why.
You are more likely to recover faster from injuries if you take your foot health seriously. With a visit to a foot doctor, you will not only get help in pinpointing the cause of your injury but also access treatments, techniques, and routines that promote rapid recovery.
It helps against potentially debilitating conditions
Starting with the foot itself; some conditions affect it more directly. These may be nothing more than an annoyance, in many cases, or it could be something that’s slightly more threatening. Hammertoe and ingrown toenails are toe-related conditions that you can prevent by looking after your foot health well.
Many unpleasant conditions have been linked to a sedentary lifestyle, which is something of a vicious cycle that concerns the foot. Maintaining a less-active daily routine can worsen your foot and overall health in some ways. On the other hand, poor health has the potential to make you less active.
For instance, a sedentary lifestyle (possibly linked to poor foot health) can increase your risk of diabetes. Conversely, the metabolic condition puts your feet at a higher risk due to problems with circulation. Diabetes is capable of exposing you to the risk of amputation as well.
Failure to take good care of your foot may also make you vulnerable to heart disease, among other conditions.
Taking steps to protect your foot health can, therefore, help in both preventing and managing conditions that impact the feet. This enables you to get help in controlling age-related conditions, such as osteoarthritis, that cause foot issues.
It provides pain relief
The foot is complex, as we pointed out earlier, and a problem in any of its many parts can result in pain. In some cases, the pain can be rather incapacitating.
Foot care treatments will be beneficial in keeping pain in check. Professionals, such as podiatrists, are trained to ascertain the cause of pain and the best approach to relieving it. In certain instances, it is impossible to detect these causes without proper testing, hence the need to see an expert.
A podiatrist can provide you tips on how to deal with pain when they occur. A visit to one can also enable you to get ideas on what you can do to prevent foot problems.
It helps you sleep well
When your feet are in good shape, it might interest you to know that this can give you a good sleep. Research suggests that sedentary behavior may increase your risk of experiencing insomnia and sleep disturbance. Of course, you’re more likely to be less mobile if your feet have problems.
Techniques such as a foot massage can improve blood flow. This may promote improved sleep, especially when used before going to bed.
The foregoing are just some of the many benefits that you can gain if you look after your foot’s health. It goes without saying that your feet will be more appealing to the eyes as well.
Foot Care Tips
The following are a number of things that can help, to an extent, promote good foot health:
Bathing or cleaning – Your foot health begins with taking adequate care to clean your feet thoroughly with soap when bathing. To eliminate dampness, ensure that you clean the areas between your toes and dry your feet carefully when you are done. A daily foot soak before going to bed will also help make your feet unfriendly to bacteria.
Scrubbing – It will help to consider scrubbing the skin around your feet, if possible, daily. This will help prevent dry or cracked skin that can be more than an aesthetic problem.
Inspection – Take a close look at your feet from time to time to pick anything that might be amiss. Experts advise that you do this at least weekly. Check for signs that could suggest problems or point to possible future complications. These include discoloration, peeling, scaling, blisters, swelling, and redness.
Massage – Regular foot massage with reflexology can help keep your feet in good health. And, it doesn’t take more than few minutes to do each day. The supposed benefits you can get from this include improved circulation, flexibility, and pain reduction.
Good footwear – There is a connection between foot health and the type of shoes you wear. Pay less attention to trendiness and more to comfort when choosing. A wrong choice of footwear can lead to a variety of issues, including foot cramps, tendinitis, and plantar fasciitis.
Visit a Foot Specialist Periodically
It is advisable to schedule an appointment at a clinic where you can see a qualified professional from time to time. While you can detect some problems by yourself, a podiatrist is better at this since they are trained to detect foot problems earlier before they worsen.
You should, therefore, endeavor to consult an expert periodically for foot examinations. Apart from prompt diagnosis and treatment, an appointment enables you to have advice on how often to visit. Preventative foot care reduces the possible need for a procedure, including amputation.
It is especially crucial to schedule regular appointments with a podiatrist if you’re diabetic. This will greatly help in promoting your foot health and avoiding amputation.
Diabetes is known to bring circulatory issues due to a disruption of blood flow to the feet. Poor blood supply makes it harder for wounds to heal in people with diabetes.
If you want excellent care for your feet, you may not be able to do without a podiatrist.